People demand more security after Bodo militants strike in Assam

Kokrajhar (Assam), Aug. 14 : The people in Kokrajhar district of Assam demanded more security after at least 15 people were killed and several others injured in suspected Bodo militant attack last week.

The government has condemned the incident and promised strict action against the perpetrators. Three militants, who came in a tempo, fired indiscriminately at the people at Balajan Tiniali market in Kokrajhar district of Assam earlier on August 5.

The attack was allegedly carried out by a faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) led by I.

K. Songbijit which is opposed to talks with the government. A Bodo militant was also killed during a retaliatory attack by the police. Narrating the horrifying incident, the victims' family members demanded more security. "There is not much security in the area. Earlier, a checking post was there but it was dismantled. The attack continued for at least an hour and the security forces failed to reach the spot. If they would have arrived 15-30 minutes earlier, then my father's life could have been saved. I want to appeal to the government to place an army camp or police station here," said Raju Chakravarty, son of one of the victims.

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal visited the attack site and said strong action would be taken against the banned NDFB (S) outfit and none would be spared for the killing of innocent people.

"We beg our stern action against those extremists who had committed this particular killing. Nobody will spare, we will jointly fight. Because our government policy is clear, there will be zero tolerance in this terrorism," Sonowal said.

The army and the local police launched a joint operation along the Assam-Bhutan border soon after the attack to nab the key leaders of the NDFB(S) outfit.

Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju has said that the incident was an attempt to create instability in Kokrajhar, which remained peaceful in recent years.

"It is very unfortunate because peace had actually returned to entire Bodoland area in Assam. Kokrajhar being the centre of Bodoland, it was absolutely necessary to ensure that peace prevailed in Kokrajhar also.

We were successful but this particular incident is very unfortunate. We have to ascertain who exactly the people behind this attack are. It is very unfortunate that so many people have lost their lives. We will ensure that the victims' family members and the injured are well taken care of," he added. According to the Assam Police, the NDFB (S) outfit has been recruiting boys aged below 18 to replenish losses it has suffered due to ongoing counter-insurgency operations in Assam.

Source: ANI